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4 Helpful Tips For Taking Care Of Your Home Windows All Year Long

home windowsYour windows protect your home as well as let beautiful natural light inside. High-quality windows are durable and long-lasting, but they still need to be cared for. Here are some great tips to help you take care of your home windows all year long.

Clean them often
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your residential windows is also the easiest: clean them often! If dirt and debris build up on your windows, especially in the tracks, they will wear much faster. It can even get more difficult over time to open and close them. Plus, no one likes looking at a dirty window. Wipe down the wooden or vinyl frames with a damp cloth and clean the glass with soapy water or glass cleaner on a regular basis.

Complete regular inspections
While you’re cleaning your home windows, you’re going to want to inspect them. Every season, you need to take a close look at your windows to see if they are in need of repair or replacement. Check for signs of moisture buildup, warped frames, peeling paint, gaps in the sealant, broken glass, and chips in the glass. Even the best windows will wear over time, but the sooner you catch the issue, the sooner you can get it resolved.

Reseal them when necessary
During your window inspection, you need to carefully inspect the sealant or caulking on your windows. If the sealant is broken, missing, or cracked, you should fix it right away because gaps in the sealant can cause a number of problems. Drafty windows that let air escape can increase your energy bills by 10% to 25%, so fixing the sealant will actually save you money in the long run.

Refinish the frames
The paint or finish on your vinyl or wood frames doesn’t just make them look nice, but also protects the windows from getting damaged by nature’s elements. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the finish and compromise the protection you depend on. Repaint and refinish the frames when you notice it’s peeling or otherwise damaged.

Keep your home windows in mind while you’re performing regular maintenance on other parts of your house. Don’t forget to clean them, inspect them, reseal them, and refinish them when necessary. All of these tips can help you add years onto the lifespan of your home’s windows.

5 Awesome Things New Residential Windows Can Do For You

tax credit for replacement windows

Have you been thinking about replacing your windows? Maybe your old ones are broken, inefficient, or just ugly. Here are some ways you can benefit from replacing your windows and getting brand new ones.

Get you a tax credit for replacement windows
You can get a tax credit for replacement windows if they are energy efficient windows. The federal government implemented tax credits as an incentive for homeowners to complete energy efficient upgrades. You can get up to 10% of what you spent to replace your home windows. New windows can also reduce what you’re spending on energy bills, so you’re saving money all around.

Increase your safety
Replacing your home’s windows can make your home safer in quite a few ways. First, new windows won’t let the elements from outside come into your home like your old windows might have. This means you don’t have to worry about water or even pests coming into your home through your windows. Second, your old windows may have been hard to open and close, making it difficult to escape in case of a fire, but that’s not a problem with new windows. Finally, newer windows are harder for intruders to get through compared to old windows that might have broken locks or seals.

Make you more comfortable
New windows can make your home more comfortable in two major ways. First is that you won’t be disturbed as much by what’s going on outside. Your old windows could have been letting in too much noise, and you probably don’t want to listen to passing traffic during dinner. Secondly, new windows seal much better than old windows, keeping the temperature much more comfortable in your home.

Raise the value of your home
New windows can actually increase your home’s value by adding not only curb appeal but homeowner’s peace of mind as well. Your home will look and feel better inside and out, and the new owners will know that they don’t have to worry about window issues for years to come.

Increase the natural light
Finally, new windows can let in much more natural light than old ones. You can get bigger windows, or even just cleaner and clearer ones to let the light in. The increased light won’t make your furniture and carpets fade though, because newer windows are designed to block UV and IR rays.

You can get a tax credit for replacement windows, raise the value of your home, increase the natural light, increase your comfort, and finally, increase your safety. Plus, your windows can last 20 years or longer if they are of high quality and are properly maintained.

It’s Time To Throw These Window Replacement Myths Straight Out The Window

home windowHomeownership is full of decisions. There are the little, everyday decisions and the big, $10,000 new roof decisions. Of course, making any decision requires you to understand the facts, unclouded by myths and misconceptions. This is especially the case when making what’s potentially a major investment in your home, such as replacing your home windows. Well, it’s time to kick these false facts to the curb — here are just a few of the most common myths about residential window replacements.

New windows won’t affect energy efficiency
This is by far the biggest misconception homeowners believe regarding window replacements. According to the National Association of Home Builders 2012 Remodeling Market Index, 44% of renovation jobs that year were for window or door replacement, and the truth is that new windows can have a major impact on your home’s energy usage and your utility bills. Though it may be tricky to determine your exact savings potential, keep this in mind: in general, you’ll save up to 15% a year on your energy bill if older double-pane windows in a 2,600-square-foot house are replaced with energy-efficient windows with low-E coatings, according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative, a coalition of government agencies, research organizations, and manufacturers that promotes efficient window technology.

Replacement windows are expensive
Though this is certainly a subjective measurement, it’s important to keep in mind when determining new window costs that the energy and utility savings help to offset the initial investment over time. Though replacing a window costs an average of between $300 and $700 per window, you can expect your new windows to practically pay for themselves after a few years of use.

You can’t get your windows replaced during the winter
Finally, this is another false fact that deters many homeowners from investing in new windows. But it’s far from the truth — with today’s technology, window installers can easily replace your windows at any time of year. They’ll take all proper precautions to ensure your home is protected from the elements during the entire time, so it’s a virtually risk-free process for your home.

According to a recent survey, almost two-thirds of homeowners are planning on renovating. Now that you know the truth behind these misleading home window replacement misconceptions, you can decide whether or not new windows are the right investment for your home.

4 Homeowner Tip to Help You Get Your Windows Ready For Summer

windows

Summer is almost here! Just as you need to get your yard, your pool, and the inside of your home ready for summer, your windows need some preparation too. Here are some tips to get your windows ready for the hot weather.

Clean the glass
Over the winter, a lot of dirt and debris can build up on your residential windows. The dirt can break down the surface of even the best windows and cause them to prematurely age. In the spring, you should thoroughly clean your windows with soap, water, and window cleaner. This will not only make your home windows look so much better, but it will make them last longer too. Don’t forget to clean both sides of your windows, too.

Check the weather stripping
Weather stripping is the material between the sash and the pane of the windows. The stripping seals the windows so leakage does not occur. This feature is one of the first to start deteriorating, so it’s important to check its quality. If the stripping is wearing down, it can let hot, humid air into your home. This can potentially cause your energy bill to go up because you’ll be running your AC a lot more.

Check the caulking
Caulking is very similar to weather stripping in that it seals the windows; it just does so in different areas. It forms a barrier in the spaces between your windows and the exterior walls of your home. This can also deteriorate over time. Bad caulk will let the hot summer air in, impacting your energy bills, just like weather stripping. While you’re checking for air leaks, you also want to look for water leaks. Your stripping or caulk may have big enough gaps to allow water to enter your home.

Check the hardware
Finally, you want to check out the hardware of your windows. You want to make sure they open, close, and lock safely and efficiently. This is especially important for fire safety reasons. Replace malfunctioning hardware if it’s not allowing you to open the windows well. Sometimes, lubricating the moving parts is enough to keep things in motion for another season.

The average replacement cost for one window is between $300 and $700. Now, imagine the costs of replacing every window in your home. If you practice these maintenance tips, you will not have to replace your windows nearly as often. New windows will, though, give you better quality and efficiency so you can enjoy your summer even more!

3 Ways New Windows Will Put Money Back In Your Wallet

Your windows are getting old, and it’s time to replace them. You may be hesitant because it is a rather large investment, but it really is worth it. If you are suffering from new window price sticker shock, then here are some ways that new windows can put money back in your wallet and benefit you greatly.

You’ll save on energy bills

Old, drafty windows can let a lot of air in and out of them. For example, when you’re running your heat in the winter, a lot of that warm air is going right outside through your old windows. This can significantly raise your energy bills. According to Energy Star, you can save $125-$465 a year on energy bills when you replace single-pane windows and $27-$111 a year when you replace double-pane windows. On average, you can expect to save anywhere between 25% and 52% on your energy bills every month when you replace your home windows.

There’s a tax credit for replacement windows

In order to create an incentive for homeowners to be more energy efficient, the federal government offers a tax credit for replacement windows. The credits come in the form of deductibles when you file your annual income taxes. The tax credit is usually around 10% of what it cost to replace the windows. You can get anywhere up to $200 for getting new, energy efficient windows.

They boost the value of your home

Last but not least, getting new windows will increase the value of your home. Home buyers love to see new windows because it seems cost savings on energy bills. According to CNBC and ISoldMyHouse.com, replacement windows have about an 85% return on investment (ROI). So, if you spend $10,000 to replace your windows, you can expect to see the value of your home raise by about $8,500.

You can expect your new windows to last up to 20 years or more when you buy high-quality windows and maintain them properly. So, not only will your new window save you money in energy bills, tax credits, and home value, they will last a long time. For more information on replacement windows, tax credits, and more, contact us today!

3 Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Energy Bills

replace windows

Your monthly energy bills can feel like Mother Nature is fighting for your money. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some smart things you can do to help reduce your energy bills and save money every month.

It’s time to replace windows
Your home windows can let air flow in and out of them when air should not be flowing. In fact, drafty windows that let air escape can increase your energy bills by 10% to 25%. If this is happening, its time to replace windows in your home with new, energy efficient ones. New replacement windows will keep in your cool air in the summer and your warm air in the winter. Then, your HVAC system won’t have to work so hard, decreasing your heating and cooling bills.

Watch your meter readings
Utility workers come and check your meters so they know how much to charge you every month, but they are human and can make mistakes just like the rest of us. However, their mistakes can be costly to you if they don’t read your meter correctly. You might notice when a huge error occurs, but you might not notice little errors that can add up. Make sure you keep on eye on your meters and compare the numbers to your utility bills to ensure they match up.

Do some landscaping
Trees can become your best friends when it comes you reducing your energy bills. You can plant them strategically around your house to provide shade. This will cool off your home because the sun will not be shining in your windows all the time creating a sort of greenhouse environment. What’s even better is that you are helping the environment every time you plant a tree.

Wouldn’t you love to have extra money every month? Maybe you want to get out of debt, buy a new car, go on vacation, or be able to go out to dinner more often. Whatever your reason, you can save some monthly money by cutting down your energy bills with these tips.

4 Factors to Help You Choose the Right Windows

window companies

When your home windows are damaged or just downright old, it’s time to start the search for new windows. Fortunately, you will find that there are a ton of options. Here’s a short list of things to consider so you can purchase the best windows possible.

The Frame
There are actually quite a few options in terms of materials when it comes to window frames. Each one has its own unique features and benefits. For example, vinyl frames offer a more cost-effective option, but may not have the appearance you’re looking for. Wood frames, on the other hand, bring a very classy look, but often for a higher price. Some other options include aluminum, composite, and fiberglass. The materials vary in price, durability, and longevity.

The Glass
There are two basic choices when it comes to glass: single-pane and double-pane. Compared to single-pane windows, double-pane windows are about two times as effective at retaining warm or cool air in your home. This means they are more energy efficient and can save you quite a bit of money month to month on your energy bills.

The Installation
Even if you buy the most expensive windows available, they still won’t protect your home effectively if they are not properly installed. For this reason, you should rely on window companies to ensure that they installation goes smoothly. That way you won’t need to worry about installation issues that could stem from an inexperienced technician.

The Design
No two windows are the same when it comes to design. Although they have the same function, design is a huge component for choosing the right window. Your windows can be seen from inside of your house as well as the outside, and they can make a serious design statement. That being said, they should be just as appealing from the inside as they are from the outside.

Making the decision to buy new windows for your house is a big investment, but it is one that will pay off well in the long run with lower energy bills and higher resale values. For all your window needs, contact Best Windows Inc. today.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Federal Tax Credits for Home Improvement

windowsHome improvement tax credits are provided as incentives for homeowners to make home improvements that are energy-efficient. The federal government offers tax credits as a way to offset the cost of the energy-efficient upgrades. These credits come in the form of deductibles when you file your annual income taxes.

According to a recent survey, more than two-thirds of homeowners are planning on remodeling their home, and if you’re one of them, make sure you consider energy-efficient remodels. You can get these federal tax credits on renovation projects like roofs, water heaters, insulation, stoves, heat pumps, heating and ventilation, doors, skylights, and new windows.

New window installation is a great way to save money on energy costs. Energy efficient windows can help prevent heat loss in cold weather and retain cool air when it’s hot out. In addition, the right windows can help you qualify for federal tax credits.

In order to be eligible for these federal tax credits, your replacement windows must:

  • Occupy your primary residence, meaning you live there full-time
  • Never be installed in a new home or a rental home
  • Have an Energy Star-certified product label

According to Consumer Reports, you don’t have to replace all of your windows in order to qualify for the tax credit, either. You can also claim the credit on your tax return if you installed a window where there wasn’t one before. The tax credit is usually around 10% of the cost of the replacement, and you can get up to $200 for your new windows. The credit does not include installation costs, just the price of the actual windows.

Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, a number of tax credits for residential energy efficiency that had expired at the end of 2016 were renewed. These tax credits are for non-business energy property, and they are now available retroactively to purchases made up to December 31, 2017. Tax credits for all residential renewable energy products have been extended through December 31, 2021.

To save money on your bills and get a tax credit, check out our Energy Star-certified windows at Best Windows. We can help you pick out the best windows for you so you can enjoy all the benefits of energy efficient windows in your home.

3 Benefits of Buying Replacement Windows Instead of Repairing Old Windows

home windows

Replacing your windows might not be at the top of your to-do list. In fact, you might think it’s even more cost-effective to simply repair any problems you might have. But you may just end up causing yourself more trouble.

If you find that your windows look old, foggy, or even cracked, it’s time to get rid of the old and replace them with new home windows. Along with making your house look better, there actually a few other benefits to replacing your home windows. Let’s take a look at a few of them!

You’ll Save Money in the Long Run

Buying new windows make seem very expensive at first. Unfortunately, that’s true. In fact, replacing a window costs between $300 and $700 per window on average. But after only one year of having the replacement home windows, you’re actually helping yourself save some money. Older windows can actually cost your home about 30% in heat loss. Newer windows are now more energy efficient and are designed to specifically help you save money. The newer windows are perfect for the times of the year when it gets a little cooler outside, as you won’t be losing heat or using as much.

You’ll Be More Comfortable

Since you are the person that has to live in your own home, it’s important you feel as comfortable as possible. New windows can help make that happen. The windows will allow more natural light into your home, keep more heat in, and look better. Some windows might even offer UV protection, which is key if you have any furniture or home decor located near the window. The UV rays will not be able to ruin any items in your home.

Your Home’s Value Will Increase

Even if you don’t plan on moving out of your current house now, you might think about it in the future. When it comes time to what your house looks like, installing new windows can really help boost your home’s value. People will see the new windows and will be more willing to pay for them. Plus, even if you don’t decide to move out of your house ever, at least you’ll have some nice new windows to come home to every day.

Replacing your windows can help cut back on your energy bills, make you more comfortable, and even increase your home’s value! For all of your window replacement needs, contact Best Windows Inc. today.

4 Warning Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Windows This Year

home windows chicago

Windows are a very crucial element to any home. They keep out the elements, provide natural sunlight, and allow great views to the outside world. Windows typically last a very long time, but they certainly do not last forever.

Home windows that are of high quality and are properly maintained can last up to 20 years longer than other windows, depending on the material. Even so, residential windows need to be properly taken care of in order to protect the home. Once a window has seen its last day, it is important to think about residential window installation to replace them. Of course, unless you’re a professional window contractor, you may not realize when that day finally arrives.

To help you out, here are four warning signs that your home’s windows need to be replaced, and soon!

Your Energy Bills Are Too High

Energy usage is one of the first indicators that something is wrong with your windows. When you are paying significantly more for your heating and cooling bills, air is probably leaking through your windows. Energy efficiency technology has become increasingly popular in recent years, so older windows may not contain the proper technology to retain efficiency for long periods of time.

Your Windows Leak

When it rains, you hope that your windows are keeping the water outside. If you notice that water is leaking into your house through your windows, something obviously isn’t right. Either your windows are not sealed properly, or they were improperly installed. Either way, when they leak, they need to be replaced.

Your Windows Are Broken or Damaged

This one may seem pretty obvious, but it is still important. If your windows are damaged in any way, like a crack or warping occurs, then they are probably not functioning the way that they should be. Security as well as function can be compromised when your windows are broken, chipped, or cracked. Make sure to replace broken windows right away.

They Won’t Open or Close Properly

This one ties in with the last section. Improper sealing or installation can cause a window not to seat right. If a window does not open or close well, it will probably leak and cause other problems. However, there is one important caveat!

In colder climates, such as here in Chicago, it’s not uncommon for older homes to swell or settle when the temperature changes. As a result, home windows in Chicago may get stuck during the depths of winter. However, if your home’s windows are still difficult to open or close no matter the season, then it’s time for new windows.

If you are experiencing any of these window problems, contact us today for residential window installation and replacement in Chicago.